Your YA novel pilgrimages just got a lot easier: Atlas Obscura has Map Obscura has created an interactive map of all the real-life places inhabited by the fictional characters of your youth.
Twilight may have been the book that launched a thousand teen road trips to the random-ass rainy town of Forks, Washington, but there are tons of worthier childhood and YA novels worth exploring–in the literal sense of the word.
Sure, you know Laura Ingall Wilder’s Little House was somewhere on some prairie, but now you know that she lived in the Independence reserve on the Kansas border. “The places on this map might have once seemed mythical,” wrote Sara Laskow in the map’s accompanying area. of the great pleasures of growing up is being able to explore in real-life the world that you could only imagine as a kid.”
Each dot represents a different character’s setting, from Harriet the Spy and Holden Caulfield in Manhattan, to Ramona Quimby in a pre-hipster Portland, to Anne of Green Gables up in Canada and The Outsiders in Oklahoma. To keep the selection from getting out of control, the sites are limited to the US–sorry, Hogwarts. Click on the circle to discover who calls that spot home!
It’s also interesting to see how the characters are distributed across the country; predictably, there’s a shit ton of stories set in New York City/New England area, but I was also surprised by the number of books written about rural areas in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. I feel like that’s a bygone tradition in children’s literature–kids these days don’t read about adventures in the great outdoors. Do kids these days even go outside? Food for thought.